The GGACC's Learn to Fly Fish Program (the "LTFF program") is offered primarily for new Club members who have already learned to make basic casts with a fly rod and want to put their new casting ability to good use on the water. The goal of the LTFF program is to teach fly fishing knowledge and skills to beginners so they can better enjoy our great sport.

Through a combination of classroom teaching, in-the-pond casting instruction, and mentored or guided fishing outings (called "fish-outs"), the comprehensive 3 year LTFF program helps its students learn both how to fly fish and where to go in Northern California and beyond.  It is one of the most popular programs offered by the GGACC.

NOTE:  The LTFF program and its fish-outs are not intended for the club's more experienced fly fishers.  The Club's Rendezvous (Rondy) Program is designed for them.  "Rondies" are not mentored and are therefore offered exclusively to experienced fly fishers.  LTFF program graduates can participate in the Rondy Program, but it is off limits to all current LTFF students or any other beginners.

The LTFF's mentored program is 3 years long for most of its students.  It starts with the Beginners Class (Step 1) for the first year; a Novice Class (Step 2) in the second year; and an Intermediate Class (Step 3) in the final year.  The LTFF students can expect to make many new friends and hopefully some life-long fishing buddies.

The LTFF program is open only to GGACC members who have paid club dues for each year of their participation in the program.  You can join the club and pay annual dues online at the Club's website: www.ggacc.org.  Dues paid in December cover the following calendar year for new or current members.

Prospective students for each year's LTFF program must sign-up, beginning in December of the prior year, for the first posted February Class Day for the Beginner (Step 1) or Novice (Step 2) classes on the club Events calendar at ggacc.org.  Enrollment is on a "first to register" basis.  Students from the previous year's Beginner or Novice classes will have registration priority, and will receive an advance email alert for signing up for the coming year's Novice or Intermediate class.

Entering participants in the LTFF program should be able to make both a roll cast and an overhead cast with a single-hand fly rod to a distance of 25-40 feet.  They should have (or will purchase after the classroom sessions) their own fly rod (preferably a 9' long 5 weight) with fly reel and a matching floating fly line (i.e., a WF5F line); breathable chest waders; wading boots; and a wading staff.  Outfitted with this minimum equipment, they receive specialized casting instruction in the ponds during Step 1 & 2 classes (when club rods are also available) and can participate in the LTFF program's fish-outs offered for their class.

Those coming into the program with previous fly fishing experience may petition the Program Director (see contact info below) for written approval to skip the Beginner class and register for the Novice class instead.   This approval will be based on a verbal or written explanation of the applicant's prior experience, which at a minimum should include the ability to successfully fish small streams on their own, including the ability to select their own flies, tie up their own two-fly nymphing and dry-dropper rigs, and wade safely.  Having fly fished only with guides is not considered sufficient experience to qualify as a Novice.

LTFF students are strongly encouraged to attend the Club's monthly Free Casting Lessons at the GGACC's ponds, and the Skills Building Program lectures (also free) These lessons and lectures are usually offered on the 2nd Saturday of every month.

Step 1 & 2 students must be enrolled in their respective "class day" events before signing up for any of that class's scheduled fish-outs.  A release form must be signed to participate in fish-outs.  Not all students can be guaranteed a spot in each fish-out since the number of openings is limited.  An online wait list option is offered whenever the event limit is reached.  Any drop-outs will be replaced from the wait list until it is exhausted, after which it is the responsibility of the registrant to find his or her own replacement.

The fees charged for the classes and fish-outs are the minimum necessary to cover the LTFF program's costs.  Since this program is self-supporting and is not covered by membership dues, the fees are typically not refundable, but are negotiable between the respective parties for anyone taking over a fish-out spot from a paid registrant.

Pending weather, water conditions, availability, and participation, the following fish-outs (for trout unless otherwise noted) are the likely minimum planned for each class:

Step 1 Beginner Fish-outs:  North Yuba River, Main Yuba River

Step 2 Novice Fish-outs:  Luk Lake (primarily for bass), Lower Sacramento River, American River, NF Stanislaus River, Hat Creek

Step 3 Intermediate Fish-outs:  Pyramid Lake (NV), Lower Sac (for shad), Surf (for surf perch), Missouri River (MT), SF Bay (for striped bass), Upper Sac & McCloud Rivers, and Trinity River (for steelhead)

For any questions about the LTFF program, please contact either the program director (John Murphy,  650-799-1695, jmurphy7599@gmail.com) or a listed class leader.

Upcoming events

    • 23 Aug 2019
    • 8:00 AM
    • 26 Aug 2019
    • 4:00 PM
    • Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Nat'l Park
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    Yosemite High Country - LTFF Beginner Fish-out

    Group 1:  Fri.-Sat., August 23-24, 2019    Group 2:  Sun.-Mon., August 25-26, 2019

    Limited to 8 Students in each Group from the 2019 LTFF Beginner Class

    Cost: $195 / person

    Overview: This trip offers fly fishing for several trout species in two pristine high alpine settings. Each day includes up to 2-4 miles of day-hiking at 9,000 - 10,000 feet. Please only sign up for this event if you are in shape to hike up to 4 miles a day at high elevation.

    This year we are using Steve Slater from Lost Coast Outfitters to lead both the mentors and students on to certain stretches of the following small alpine streams or possibly other streams in the area that he knows well.

    A daily meeting point and time will be set before the fish-out to meet-up with the guide and mentors.  Registrants will be advised of this by email a few days before the fish-out.

    Tuolumne's Lyell Fork:

    At 9,500 feet, this stream starts at Lyell Glacier and only drops 500 feet in 10 miles. This provides a gentle stream that meanders through meadows and granite pools for a truly unique experience. 

    To get there from Tuolumne Meadows, we'll hike along the Dana Fork for about 1.5 miles until we arrive at the Lyell Fork. Here the meadow stream is waist deep and wide, offering dry fly fishing along the banks to Brown Trout. Traveling farther upstream, you move into Brookie and Rainbow territory, arriving at several large and shallow granite pools the size of small ponds. It's a great place to spot fish in clear water and practice gentle overhead casting. Traveling slightly further upstream, you pass through endless granite channels and pools mixed in with more meadows, with each section both memorable and unique.

    Most of these wild trout are in the 6-9 inch range, but a handful of fish are caught each year in the 18 inch range. Larger fish require more stealth and finesse, while the less spooky smaller trout will attack dry flies readily, often with acrobatic displays.

    Students will use overhead casts in meadow sections and practice roll casts in areas with trees. We'll use mostly small dry fly patterns with thin mono tippet (5x - 6x). 

    Students will use overhead casts in meadow sections and practice roll casts in areas with trees. We'll use mostly small dry fly patterns with thin mono tippet (5x - 6x), but you may want to nymph the deeper holes. Come prepared for both dry fly fishing and indicator nymphing.

    Tuolumne's Dana Fork:

    Similar to the Lyell Fork, the Dana Fork is a small mountain stream that meanders through meadows at 9,000 ft. elevation. This stream follows along Hwy 120, meaning slightly less hiking and easier access. There are many fish to be caught on a fly along this 2-mile long stream since each hole seems to have an endless supply of wild trout.

    Students will primarily use overhead and roll casts. Again, we'll mostly use attractor dry fly patterns with thin tippet (5x-6x), but we may resort to indicator nymph fishing if the dries aren't working.  

    Registration fee includes:

    • Guide fees for two days
    • Sack lunches each mentored day
    • ~ 2 dozen selected flies

    Other Student costs:

    • Yosemite National Park entrance fee of $30, good for 7 days. Annual pass is $80. Carpooling helps save on this cost.
    • Possible campground fees, depending on whether you are successful in finding an open campsite in any of the nearby campgrounds.  (NOTE:  In general, campsites in the Tuolumne Meadows / Yosemite area CANNOT be reserved in advance.)
    • Lodging costs for motels, condos, or other vacation rentals available in the area.  Students are encouraged to look into the many rental options in the Mammoth Lakes / Mammoth Mountain Ski Area about 1 hour south of Tuolumne Meadows.   

    Items not to forget (not a complete packing list):

    • Bring (or plan to buy) your own breakfast, dinner, coffee, and snacks for each day.
    • Camping equipment (e.g., tent, sleeping bag and pad, cooking equipment, etc) if you plan to look for an available campsite in any of the nearby campgrounds
    • Headlamp and extra batteries, especially useful at night in camp
    • Small backpack, large sling pack, or vest with a large back pocket to carry lunch, water, packable rain jacket, etc.
    • Water bottle(s) or water bladder large enough to carry a full day of water (1.5 - 3 liters); or a filter system to replenish a smaller water bottle.
    • Fly fishing gear (3-5 wt rod, a couple 4X or 5X mono leaders, 5X - 6X mono tippet, nippers, forceps, fly box with additional flies, net optional).  For indicator nymphing, bring a few small indicators, BB size split-shot, and tippet spools of 3X mono and 4X & 5X fluoro.
    • Dry fly floatants - flies need to be floating high on the water surface all day. It's virtually imperative to have BOTH the liquid (gel) silicone and desiccant "dry shake" versions.
    • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, neck buff)
    • Wet wading shoes like Chacos or Tevas. Or wading boots with neoprene guard socks. Unless you just prefer to, there's no need for wearing waders on this trip, which will be a little more difficult to hike in.
    • Mandatory items:  wading staff, polarized sunglasses, and of course, a valid 2019 fishing license. 

    Other notes:

    • Dinner options are available at Woah Nellie Deli (in the Mobil Gas Mart), right at the junction of Hwys.120 and 395, should you end up camping in the area and would rather not cook your own dinners. For a gas station mart, this is remarkably good food. The deli is open 7am - 9pm.
    • Other dining options are available in the Mono Lake area (Lee Vining) and further south in the Mammoth Lakes area; however they're sure to be more expensive. 

    For further information, contact:  Fish-out Leader:  Steve Slater (stevetslater@yahoo.com)   or John Murphy   (jmurphy7599@gmail.com

    • 20 Sep 2019
    • 7:00 AM
    • 23 Sep 2019
    • 5:00 PM
    • Sourgrass Rec Area / Day Use, near Dorrington, CA

    Due to size of this Novice class, there are two separate 2-day LTFF Novice - Stanislaus fish-outs being held back-to-back.  Group 1 will fish Friday-Saturday, Sept. 20-21; and Group 2 will fish Sunday-Monday, Sept. 22-23.  Students may sign up for either one, but not for both, unless advised later that this is permissible if there are still spots not filled. 

    Unless announced otherwise, this mentored Stanislaus fish-out is again only being offered to a limited number of this year's enrolled Novice students in the club's "Learn to Fly Fish" (LTFF) Program on a first-to-register basis. Do not register for this event if you are NOT in this class, or risk losing your registration fee. 

    There will be only two days of mentored fishing for each Group, but a few of the more experienced students may be allowed to tag along with the mentors on Thursday evening or choose to fish on their own on Monday evening -- should they wisely choose to drive home the following morning after a long day of fishing. 

    In addition to several other experienced mentors, we expect to have a mentor along on this fish-out who is very experienced with fishing this North Fork of the Stanislaus River:   Lost Coast Outfitter pro-staffer and independent guide Steve Slater. 

    The "Stan" River is an excellent rainbow and brown trout fishery.  We will be fishing the North Fork of the Stanislaus River in the NF Sourgrass Rec Area just above the Big Tree State Park.  This Rec Area is located off State Hwy. 4 way down below the little town of Dorrington (north of Arnold, CA) in a very picturesque canyon.

    Other logistics and recommended gear will be covered in a brief Pre-fishout Meeting to be held in the clubhouse at 3:00pm on Saturday, Sept. 14th. (Note that this is the 2nd Saturday of the month, so it's the same day as Free Casting Lessons as well as the club's Program information Day and Member BBQ that day-- so be sure to show up for those events as well.)  This will be an opportunity to ask questions, meet others in your group, arrange carpooling, decide on whether to tackle group dinners, etc. 

    Limited Registration:  This fish-out will be limited to 12 students in each Group in order not to over-crowd the river.  The class will be notified by email exactly when the online registration will open.  You may register for either Group, but not for both --unless otherwise notified.

    Campground:  Most of us will be trying to camp at the Stanislaus National Forest Service's Wakalu Hep Yo (Wild River) Campground.  This campground is super convenient, but not reservable in advance (available on a first-come basis only). As we successfully did last year, we hope that by scheduling this fish-out after Labor Day again that this allows us to find enough campsites there upon our arrival. There is no known group camp site in this campground, but the hope is that by possibly doubling up in campsites as needed, this arrangement should work to allow most of the students (for each Group in turn) to camp together in adjacent campsites as much as possible rather than being spread out throughout the campground. This campground does have some showers and flush toilets!

    There may still be a camp host on site then to collect the campground fee of $20.00 per night. If not, there will be a drop box for this daily camp fee.  Students shall be responsible for paying their own campground fees, or sharing in the cost with another student if doubled up. 

    Unless you are staying over that last night of each fish-out, each group will need to break camp right after breakfast on the morning of the second day in order to make room for the next group (or the next party coming in) to arrive anytime that afternoon.  If you are not using your vehicle to follow your mentor around, you can park it in the Sourgrass Day Use parking lot (just over the bridge from the campground) on that second day. 

    Motels/Hotels:  There is the old Dorrington Hotel in Dorrington, CA about 4 miles above the campground, and a few motel or hotel options farther back down Highway 4 in Arnold and Murphys for those not into either tent camping or possibly sleeping in their vehicle. There is also the Bear Valley Lodge and the even more rustic Tamarack Lodge about 20 miles farther up Highway 4.  Finding alternate lodging is your responsibility, but be sure to book it early!  

    Meeting Place:  Everyone will need to meet at the Sourgrass Rec Area / Day Use (just over the bridge from the campground) at 7:00AM each fishing morning to figure out who is going with which mentor, to make up your lunches, to get your flies, instructions, etc. This early start is intended to get everyone on the water as soon as possible each morning — so please don’t be late. 

    Driving Directions:  Use Google Maps for "Wakaluu Hepyoo Campground Amphitheater",  or enter GPS coordinates Lat. 38.322063, Long. -120.218558  (Elev. 3900').  The shortest route from the Bay Area is to follow I-580 E to I-205 E, to I-5 N to connect to CA-99 S at Stockton, and exit onto CA-4 E.  Follow CA-4 (about 75 miles of winding 2-lane hwy.) to Boards Crossing Road in Dorrington, CA.  (This road, marked with a street sign, is on your right directly across from the Dorrington Hotel.)  Follow Boards Crossing Road taking only left forks to reach NF Road 05N02 (Beardsley Rd.) and follow that road down the canyon to the campground on the river (it's just before you cross the new concrete bridge on NF-05N02, and not the old Boards Crossing steel trestle bridge). The drive to this campground is at least a 3 hour total drive time without counting stops or traffic getting out of the Bay Area (plan for perhaps 4 hours).   

    Camping Equipment:  Unless you have a vehicle that you plan to sleep in, it is suggested that you have your own tent (with tent stakes, footprint/plastic tarp, and rainfly) or have an agreement to share a tent with someone.  Also be sure to bring:  sleeping bag; sleeping pad (or air mattress and/or cot); a headlamp or flashlight with good batteries (wise to bring spares too); cooking stove; water container; cooking pots / cooking utensils; camp dishes / eating utensils; wash basin; biodegradable soap; butane lighter or matches; paper or cloth towels; garbage bags; and a cooler with ice for perishables.  All food and dry goods should be stored in the campground-supplied camp boxes to keep away from rodents and jays, and the potential bear.  Optional equipment might also include:  lantern; camp chair; firewood; hand axe; coffee pot; small folding table; table cloth for picnic table; etc.

    Meals There will be NO "hosted" group dinners for anyone on this fish-out.  You can cook dinners in camp (either together as a group if those in the group choose to organize this themselves, or individually), or there are other possible options such as a small burger joint in Dorrington (next to the hotel) or a few casual restaurants back in Arnold that smaller groups may decide to try.  

    We will be providing groceries for making your own sandwiches for sack lunches on each of the groups' two fishing days only

    NOTE:  Other than the two sack lunches provided by your fish-out leader on your Group's fishing days, you are on your own to bring (and prepare) your own food for all breakfasts. other lunches, and all dinners (or for group dinners), or buy your own meals out.

    Fishing Gear:  We recommend bringing a 3-5wt fly rod with floating line. For dry flies, bring 9’ tapered leaders to 4X or 5X, with mono tippet spools in 4X-6X.  Also be sure that you bring both a liquid (or gel) dry fly floatant and a dry shake floatant (dessicant-type) for treating your dry flies. For indicator nymphing, bring indicatorssplit shotone spool of say 0X to 3X mono tippet material (to use 5'-8’ of this for the indicator's depth adjustment), and spools of both 4X & 5X  fluoro tippet for connections to nymphs.  Bring foam hoppers or Chubby Chernobyl pattern flies for hopper (dry) / dropper rigging if you prefer this rather than indicator nymphing), or you might try tight-line nymphing instead (although the Stan has more pools than actual pocket water where tight-lining works best).  

    Flies:  We will be providing a dozen flies to each student  -- 2 each of some dry fly and nymph patterns, as recommended by Steve Slater.  These flies will be supplied and packaged by LCO and distributed to you at the meeting place, so you will need to put them in your own fly box along with your other flies -- and be sure to pinch the barbs!  We will not be doing this for you. Also, bring your own flies, especially any that you have picked up for (or tied for) this particular trip on a fly shop's or someone else's recommendation.  

    If you still need more of your own flies, or forgot some other gear after you leave town, there is a small fly shop (if open) as well as the Ebbet's Pass Sporting Goods in Arnold as you pass through that town (both are on the south side of the hwy.), or you can divert your trip up on I-205 for a few miles to reach the Bass Pro store in Manteca. 

    Other Stuff:  In addition to forceps, nippers, vest or pack for fly boxes and other gear, sunhat, sunscreen, bug repellent, waders, boots, belts, water bottle (or other means to carry, or filter, drinking water), don’t forget your wading staff!   A small net is always optional for trout, but it really helps in landing them with minimal stress and keeping them in the water while unhooking—both of which are extremely important for the fish’s survival. Camping gear should include headlamps or flashlights —the former is especially good for tying on flies during late evening fishing or cooking / setting up camp in the dark.  Bring spare batteries too. 

    Wading:  As a tailwater, the Stan can still be pretty cold this high up, but you may decide when you get there and test the water that you might prefer to wet-wade (not me!) instead of wearing waders.  If so, just be sure that you have sturdy closed-toe wading sandals or, better yet, use neoprene guard socks (or other neoprene socks) plus wool or polypo liner socks to fill-out your wading boots.  Lightweight (i.e., nylon) long pants are recommended for wet-wading over wearing shorts to better protect your shins from scrapes on rocks, scratchy brush, poison oak, etc.

    Registration Fee:  The registration fee is $150 per student (which includes paying Steve's super discounted fee and the purchase of the flies and groceries for lunches.  Not included in the registration fee is the cost of travel, camp fees or lodging, and meals other than the provided lunches.

    For more info:  John Murphy,  jmurphy7599@gmail.com, cp 650-799-1695;   Steve Slater (LCO ph. 415-483-2278)

    Note: There is only very spotty to non-existent cell phone service anywhere in this area -- try texting up there instead, but this is also extremely hit-or-miss.  


Questions? Please direct your inquiries to the appropriate mail box:

Our Mailing Address:  Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club  ·  P.O. Box 591476  ·  San Francisco, CA 94159

General Information:


Rondy Program:


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